greatly the advantage in the division or disposition of the Federal
territories — that the claims put forth on behalf of the South
were just and reasonable — that the difference ought to be settled by compromise — that we have no alternative but compromise or civil war-adding:
We are advised by the conservative States of Virginia and Kentucky that, if force is to be used, it must be exerted against the united South.
It would be an act of folly and madness, in entering upon this contest, to underrate our opponents, and thus subject ourselves to the disgrace of defeat in an inglorious warfare.
Let us also see if successful coercion by the North is less revolutionary than successful secession by the South.
Shall we prevent revolution by being foremost in overthrowing the principles of our government, and all that makes it valuable to our people, and distinguishes it among the nations of the earth?
proceeded to dilate on the valor and sagacity of the men of the South
--the extent of their coast-line, rendering its effectual blockade nearly impossible — the ruin of our own industry which must result from civil war — and to urge afresh the necessity of compromise; saying:
The question is simply this--“ Shall we have compromise after war, or compromise without war?
He urged that a compromise was required, not to pacify the States which have seceded from the Union
, but to save the Border States
from following, by strengthening the hands of their Unionists
There is no point whereon men are apt to evince more generosity than in the sacrifice of other men's convictions.
may consider vital principles, but which we
regard as besotted prejudices or hypocritical pretenses, we are always willing to subordinate to any end which we consider beneficent.
In fact, a frank, ingenuous confession of the errors and sins of his adversaries is one of the politician's commonest exhibitions of sincerity and patriotism.
Thus Gov. Seymour
Let us take care that we do not mistake passion and prejudice and partisan purposes for principle.
The cry of “no compromise” is false in morals; it is treason to the spirit of the Constitution; it is infidelity in religion: the cross itself is a compromise, and is pleaded by many who refuse all charity to their fellow-citizens.
It is the vital principle of social existence; it unites the family circle; it sustains the church, and upholds nationalities.
But the Republicans complain that, having won a victory, we ask them to surrender its fruits.
We do not wish them to give up any political advantage.
We urge measures which are demanded by the honor and the safety of our Union.
Can it be that they are less concerned than we are?
Will they admit that they have interests antagonistic to those of the whole commonwealth?
Are they making sacrifices, when they do that which is required by the common welfare?
Had New England
and some other of the Fremont States
revolted, or threatened to revolt, after the election of 1856, proclaiming that they would never recognize nor obey Mr. Buchanan
, unless ample guarantees were accorded them that Kansas
should thenceforth be regarded and treated as a Free Territory
or State, would any prominent Democrat have thus insisted that this demand should be complied with Would he have urged that the question of Freedom or Slavery in Kansas
should be submitted to a direct popular vote, as the only means of averting civil war?
Yet Gov. Seymour
demanded the submission of the Crittenden Compromise
to such a vote, under circumstances wherein (as Gov. Seward
had so forcibly stated) “the argument of fear” was the only one relied on, and Republicans were to be coerced into voting for